Spanish version

Cake Shop: El Riojano

El Riojano (confectioner´s)

El Riojano is located in the Calle Mayor number 10. It is one of the oldest confectioner´s in Madrid.

El Riojano was founded in 1855 during the reign of Maria Cristina of Habsburg-Lorena.

The founder worked as pastry cook  in the Royal Palace and decided to start his own business.

It seems that Queen Maria Cristina helped him to establish himself. For example the main counter, the showcase and the wood (mahogany) came from the Palace.

The patissier had no children and left the business to his employees, the shop and the bakery managers.El Riojano

Afterwards the son of one of them married the daughter of the other, but again there were no heirs and the shop was again bought by the managers. And this has been going on until today, when Esperanza Comontes is the owner of the establishment.

Although it has not been in the hands of the same family, it has always been a family business. At least this time we can hope that the same family will be in charge for a long time, as Esperanza has two daughters and one son who are working in the Riojano.

BakeryIn 1892, the establishment underwent some alterations as it had had gas light and it had to be turned into electric light. It seems that in those days it was quite common that burglars robbed in shops taking away their furniture. This is why the furniture was made inside the shop and it is impossible to take it out, because it is bigger than the entrance door. It was an idea of the owner, it was a way to make this shop last and to prevent that burglars could take away the expensive furniture.

All their cakes, pies, cookies and chocolate are home-made daily in their bakery, just behind Azucarillothe tearoom. They have more than thirty different cakes and 400 cookies and every day, at least, 60 different types of pastries are made. They produce their own chocolate and also the typical turron, a Spanish Christmas sweet made basically of almonds and honey, although in the Riojano they have 16 different types.

They try to maintain the typical Spanish and Madrilian sweets like the bartolillos ( a sort of pie filled with confectioner´s custard), the merengue (meringue) and the azucarillos (a typical Madrilian sweet made with sugar that is put into water producing a digestive drink which people took after drinking hot chocolate or after liquor).


Their "Pastas del Consejo" - Council Cookies- are very famous. They started making them in the times when Alfonso XIII was a child. He had to take part in the councils and it was quite boring for him. So his mother asked the owner of the Riojano to prepare some sweet in order to have her son waiting for breakfast time during the council.

The Pastas del Consejo are a mixture between bread and cookie.

The Riojano still serves special breakfasts for the parliament nowadays.

EsperanzaInside there is a small room, decorated with  original tables and chair, where you can have a coffee, a tea and some pastries. Esperanza made this tearoom in what used to be the back room of the shop, fulfilling the idea her former boss had had.

El Riojano is well known all over the world and visited by many people who want to taste their wonderful pastries. In autumn and winter they also have a splendid consommé which you should taste.

@Copyright 2008, 2009 Mª Dolores Diehl Busch. All rights reserved.
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